Swedish pulp producer Rottneros AB has announced that it has entered into a supply contract with compatriot RenFuel K2B AB for the supply of lignin for the production of Lignol, RenFuel's patented lignin oil, which can be refined into renewable gasoline and diesel. By 2018, Rottneros will begin deliveries of lignin from its Vallviks Bruk pulp mill to RenFuel's test and pilot plant in Bäckhammar.
RenFuel has developed and patented a method of refining lignin from black liquor, a residual from the pulp industry, to lignin oil. Called Lignol, it can replace fossil oil as a raw material in the production of renewable gasoline and diesel. Utilising black liquor not only enables large-scale production of Lignol but also allows for production capacity increases and profitability improvement of the paper and pulp industry.
It is an important step for us at Rottneros to further strengthen Sweden’s bioeconomy, in which the pulp industry is already an important part of. In addition to supporting climate work by contributing to the transport sector’s switch (to renewable fuels), the lignin off-take also gives us the opportunity to increase our pulp production. In this way, the agreement benefits all parties, said Lennart Eberleh, CEO of Rottneros.
Earlier this year, RenFuel began production of Lignol at its pilot plant in Bäckhammar, Värmland. The pilot plant is funded through an SEK 71 million (≈ EUR 7.47 million) grant from the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten). The grant funds the development and testing of the pilot plant to convert lignin from pulp extracts into a lignin oil, but also the development of RenFuel’s membrane filtration method.
The collaboration with Rottneros means an assured lignin supply for the increased production of Lignol, in order to meet a growing demand for environmentally friendly transportation fuels.
Our product Lignol is a key to reaching the goal of a fossil-free fleet by 2030. Collaborating with a company like Rottneros, which has a long tradition of and knowledge of forest and mass production, is an important step forward for RenFuel. The use of membrane filtration of black liquor, an energy-efficient process, also strengthens Lignol’s potential as a climate-efficient fuel, even at the production stage, said Sven Löchen, CEO of RenFuel.